Series 4 Episode 3

Drassil
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 3

Post by Drassil »

I agree with James. Thank you for a new and interesting observation, Morghanna.

For easier comparison, here are the official YouTube clips from the ITV Children's Classics channel of the spindizzy and the Place of Choice disc:

If the disc was operated manually (as, for example, the conundrum answer board was in Countdown), it may have been difficult to get a consistent speed.

In a similar vein, we may find ourselves discussing Block & Tackle entry points in due course.
s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by s4t8brett »

Giles (team 8 dungeoneer) mentioned he noticed the whirr of the motor from the beginning of the scene, before filming started - but the machinery could have had an analogue speed setting that was set slightly differently each time the device was set up.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Morghanna »

You would hope that the machinery would be set at a standard pace. It would be a little harsh on some teams if it were not.
Drassil, thanks for the video clips. Not sure if there is any noticeable speed difference between the two clips in S3. Of the clips from S3 it was only team 2 where it seemed faster.
As an opening challenge in S4, this was actually a tricky little test. Those exit walkways look quite narrow. At least in S3 there are 5 exits next to each other. I think a couple of teams actually missed their marked exit but still landed on the next one. No such room for error at the place of choosing! 8-o
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Re: Series 4 - Episode 3

Post by Drassil »

s4t8brett wrote: 20 Jun 2020, 12:55 Giles (team 8 dungeoneer) mentioned he noticed the whirr of the motor from the beginning of the scene, before filming started - but the machinery could have had an analogue speed setting that was set slightly differently each time the device was set up.

Brett, I regret that I'd forgotten about this thread from a couple of years ago in which I'd asked about the revolving disc and you'd mentioned Giles hearing the motor. Thanks for reminding me.

Anyone with playground memories of stepping onto or off a moving roundabout will sympathise with Alistair's loss of footing. A shame they couldn't have edited or refilmed it to save him some embarrassment.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by s4t8brett »

In many ways, when you think about it, this is a classic fiendish Knightmare puzzle: as an adviser, there's little you can do except to suggest the timing of your dungeoneer's vault; as the dungeoneer, blindfolded and launching off - as Drassil put it - a roundabout. It was the only scene we filmed on our first day of filming, we spent about five minutes negotiating it and I remember saying to the rest of the team when we were at our hotel that evening, "If that was just the first challenge, what will the rest be like?"
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Drassil »

s4t8brett wrote: 27 Jun 2020, 14:17 It was the only scene we filmed on our first day of filming, we spent about five minutes negotiating it and I remember saying to the rest of the team when we were at our hotel that evening, "If that was just the first challenge, what will the rest be like?"

That's interesting to consider in a broader context. It's not something that teams from any other Knightmare series could have related to. Series 2 dungeoneers got their quests started by pulling a lever; Series 3 dungeoneers by rolling a die. Giles and the seven other S4 dungeoneers were asked to risk their physical health. I can imagine Alistair and his advisors being a little shaken by his stumble, and - like you and your team, Brett - being left with a heightened sense of trepidation about what challenges lay ahead.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Morghanna »

Yes, coz from your knowledge of series 3 your team would have known this as a level 2 challenge, so to encounter it immediately must have been interesting. Particularly unfortunate that you had overnight to dwell on that thought before continuing....
Obstacles like the spindizzy are the reason why i would have wanted to be an advisor not the actual dungeoneer if i had ever been on the program. :)
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Drassil »

BritBox has added episode descriptions for Knightmare. For episodes with two teams, they follow the same formula. This episode's is:

'See how the contestants from Tyne & Wear fared & meet the new ones from Woodbridge.'

More evidence that the BritBox subtitlers didn't consult any Latinists: to banish the haunting, Hordriss says "Abesse!" (literally "To be away") but the subtitle is "Out, I say!"

In Series 1, Mogdred was over-credited i.e. named in the credits but never actually appeared. Now he is under-credited: as in all Series 4 episodes, John Woodnutt is credited only as Merlin (who isn't in this episode).

My thoughts about TRANSFORMATION and BUT as posted in another thread in May:
I wrote: 07 Mar 2021, 18:28 Having rewatched Series 4 Episode 3 on BritBox, I've been thinking about this again. So just before we become a cashless society, here's another ha'pennyworth from me.
  • The baddy confronting the dungeoneer in a 'final encounter' on Level 3 is not strange - Morghanna, Malice, Aesandre and Lord Fear all did it;
  • The baddy sending a floating weapon to menace the dungeoneer on Level 3 is not strange - Mogdred did it in Series 3 Quest 4 (Leo), Morghanna did it Series 3 Quest 6 (Ross);
  • The baddy sending a floating weapon to menace the dungeoneer on Level 3 while staying yet doing nothing is strange - Morghanna dispatched an axe to make Ross "squirm" but didn't bother to hang around, whereas in Series 3 Quest 11 she killed Martin personally with a serious double trepanning. This implies that Series 4 Team 1's two spells were meant to deal separately with the two threats.
In other words, I agree with previous theories that BUT, a "quite humble" spell, was intended for the sword: to pause it or ward it off.

To address the other half of the puzzle, I'm going to speculate more wildly.

Why would Mogdred need a glorified letter opener to do his bidding anyway? Could it be that something prevents him from killing a dungoneer directly? Is he restricted by his status as Merlin's alter ego? (This could also explain why he tried to trick some dungeoneers into destroying themselves with questionable gift spells, and why he had to trap Tony (Series 2 Team 5) in a "playpen".)

A couple other things we do know:
  • In the History of Knightmare on this website, Tim Child says that by Series 4, 'the Merlin/Mogdred scenario was exhausted (I had always found it annoyingly derivative)';
  • David Rowe's Art of Knightmare book suggests that in Series 1 Quest 6, the OPPOSITE spell was intended to turn Mogdred into Merlin (as Canadanne has discussed in another topic). This is corroborated by information gleaned via David Rowe during the Knightmare Convention in 2014.
I'm suggesting, therefore, that to avoid wastage of the unused OPPOSITE idea, and to give a 'last hurrah' to the 'Merlin/Mogdred scenario', the "most powerful" TRANSFORMATION spell was intended to transform Mogdred into Merlin. He'd then have urged Helen on as he did for other dungeoneers he met on Level 3.

What I'm less sure about is how the team would have been given the time to cast this long spell. Mogdred just standing there and letting them do it could have been an anticlimax. Perhaps BUT would have sent the sword at Mogdred, distracting him for as long as the team needed, but could a "quite humble" spell have gone as far as to turn the sword against its master?
It's intriguing that we hear the spellcasting sound as the quest ends. Not only that, but it's the Series 3 spellcasting sound: used earlier in this quest for FREEZE, but not the sound used in any other Series 4 quest when a spell is cast. Here it's confusing because we can also hear Rachel still saying the letters of the spell.

I like the return of the banana as Team 2 prepares for the quest.
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s4t8brett
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by s4t8brett »

Anybody else enjoying the Lego Knightmare episodes, by the way? I hope they make more of them soon!

It seems most likely that BUT would have (slowed? or) stopped the sword... (and dispelling it - perhaps to send it back to Mogdred - would have been a clear throwback to series 3 if you start with the 'T'...)

Although I think your connection back to Series 1 is practically watertight, Drassil, I think it more likely that Tim would have been wanting to cover new ground by Series 4, so I think it less likely that TRANSFORMATION was intended to turn Mogdred into Merlin (presumably that would also have necessitated a lengthy delay while the costume was changed, or a pre-recorded [Team/Zoom] video-message from Merlin).

As I alluded to above, I think it's possible TRANSFORMATION would have acted not on Helen, nor on Mogdred (lizard? pillory? stocks?), nor even on the chamber itself, but perhaps on the sword itself in some way...
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by AriadnesLayer »

I think people read too much into the Transformation/But thing.

Transformation was never intended to do anything (other than lure the team to make a mistake by picking the fancier-sounding spell). The point of it was for Mogdred to kill them whilst they were in the middle of casting it. Which is what happened.

But, as the name suggests, would simply have made Mogdred change his mind and allow them to pass. Simples. (Maybe not very dramatic but the point of it was that it was a "humble" spell. Can't think of anything more humble than that).
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by s4t8brett »

You could be precisely correct, AriadnesLayer. It seems to me it's over-thinking it to look for parallels with other quests. The Joker spell and card were re-used several times towards the end of series four, but that doesn't necessitate other ideas being recycled or used in an analogous way.

However, I do think it also plausible that BUT could have moved Mogdred to turn the Dungeoneer into something and then depart, leaving the team to cast the TRANSFORMATION spell before proceeding. Also, albeit less likely, that they might have encountered the 'same' room again in the tower (after the last wall monster, obvs) - an apparent dead-end, perhaps with life-force fading, but then the TRANSFORMATION spell might have changed their surroundings into the final chamber with the quest object.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Canadanne »

s4t8brett wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 20:42 I do think it also plausible that BUT could have moved Mogdred to turn the Dungeoneer into something and then depart, leaving the team to cast the TRANSFORMATION spell before proceeding.
Ooh, I like that theory.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by Drassil »

To me, it wouldn't make sense for Hordriss to reward a dungeoneer with a spell he said was "most powerful" but was actually a red herring. I think TRANSFORMATION and BUT were both intended to be used.
Canadanne wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 21:17
s4t8brett wrote: 19 Sep 2021, 20:42 I do think it also plausible that BUT could have moved Mogdred to turn the Dungeoneer into something and then depart, leaving the team to cast the TRANSFORMATION spell before proceeding.
Ooh, I like that theory.
It is a fun theory to explore. (I'm not sure why it didn't grab me in the same way when Brett first raised it in 2017.)

I can picture it happening because, as Brett said:
s4t8brett wrote: 18 Jun 2017, 16:45 we have a precedent with Mogdred turning McGrew into a toad in Series 3 and Brother Mace being turned into a lizard in Series 4.
I also find it a more plausible effect of BUT than influencing Mogdred to switch from "Prepare to receive the doom of Mogdred" all the way to "On second thoughts, you can pass."

With the sword staying behind, there would still have been some pressure for the team to act without delay, just as there was when Dickon's team had zapped Malice and was left with critical life force.

However, the theory raises more questions:
  • If Mogdred returned in a later chamber for a final encounter, how would the team have defeated him?
  • If Mogdred didn't return (consistent with Series 2's winning quests), would that have made for a big anti-climax?
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by s4t8brett »

Team 1 hadn't yet encountered the Corridor of Blades. For Team 6, Malice appeared by the entrance of the Corridor. So, assuming TRANSFORMATION was not intended to be an 'Offensive' spell, perhaps Mogdred would have appeared by the Corridor to issue one last challenge to Team 1, Drassil.

I don't think Mogdred would have turned into Merlin: either recording would have been interrupted for many minutes for a costume change, with the lack of continuity that would have incurred, or one of the parts would have had to have been pre-recorded, with the consequent lack of live performance, flexibility and interaction.
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Re: Series 4 Episode 3

Post by AriadnesLayer »

I like the idea that both BUT and TRANSFORMATION would have been used at some point.

However, to this day I think it kind of sucks that the team were supposed to be psychic and know that, on this one and only occasion in the entire show, the character they were facing was not going to wait patiently for them to spell out a long word.
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